Despite advances in technology improving accessibility, changing behaviours in personal finance is really hard. People rarely switch or alter their habits.
Women often have a smaller pension pot than men and are less likely to take out investments like ISAs. When they do invest, they are more likely to make values-based investments.
How can we make it simpler for women to take climate action with their personal finance?
What if… we could use the power of peer-support to motivate and inspire women to make change?
What we did: we piloted a series of groups – think book club meets weightwatchers – to enable women to share their experiences of money in a safe space and support each other to take action. Following testing in London and Bristol we worked with Enrol Yourself to train 15 volunteers to host groups in their homes, workplaces, parenting groups or round a table in the pub or cafe.
The pilot groups launched in April and ran until July 2019.
What did we test?
Our hunch is that building confidence through peer-support and a safe space will help women address the barriers to aligning their own financial choices and security with a liveable planet.
Different approaches to recruitment and location of groups to understand how the model could scale, and what support women might need to set up an OwnIt group without face-to-face training.
We are also gathering data about the value of the changes people made following participation in the groups, so we can put a monetary value on the impact of this work.
We will identify an approach to scaling and consider how tools could be developed for our Climate Action Communities. Want to know more?
In 18 months hosts and participants have taken actions to a minimum combined annual value of £1.2m with a further £2.3m of actions planned.
"I have moved my current accounts to Triodos and Nationwide from Barclays. I am now investigating where my pensions are invested, and better options for doing so". A group participant.
Quotes from user surveys:
On a scale of 0-10
"I feel confident, capable and able to make things happen" = 8.25 (up from 5.7)
"An incredible programme. Of all the attempts at behavioural change initiatives I have seen, this model wins. An innovative, thoughtful approach to an age-old problem" Kate Ford